OFFICIALS from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, which manages the Queen Elizabeth Trust Diabetic Retinopathy programme recently paid a visit to Saint Lucia to meet with the steering committee to make an assessment of the programme since its implementation.
Technical Consultant of the Caribbean Diabetic Retinopathy programme Dr. Cova Bascaran says she is very pleased that the diabetic retinopathy programme in Saint Lucia has evolved rapidly.
She noted that the dialogue allowed them to discuss the next steps for delivering integrated eye care services on island.
“We have further plans for training, capacity building as well as introducing quality assurance…” she said. “In terms of the discussion with the Permanent Secretary, we were talking about the need for reviewing the broader eye care strategy at the Ministry of Health level.”
Medical Officer Dr. Sharon Belmar-George says she is very delighted that the meeting granted them the opportunity to chart the way forward for eye care services in Saint Lucia.
“We are very pleased in terms of where we are at this moment because we were able to successfully implement the programme in a sustainable way also providing a new service to the public. In terms of our planning for the way forward, we were quite pleased to know that with the funding moving forward we will be able to expand the programme to include a more holistic eye care programme. So we will be doing an assessment of our eye health programme looking at our different gaps for expanding the programme. We are quite excited about that and we will be looking forward to working with them in the coming years.”
Currently, Saint Lucia has four diabetic retinopathy screening sites and one laser treatment site.